Training And Certification for Operators, Supervisors and Managers


  • This article was written by Mr. Joel Vinsant, DSA Secretary General, for the IACDS Yearbook 2021.

As part of the associations’ core message to provide high-quality workmanship, training and qualifications provide the confidence that the DSA has fulfilled its aims and objectives of delivering structured training and qualifications.

Training Models

The two options are as follows: Individual task training courses and the apprenticeship route.

Individual training courses are designed to provided candidates with the knowledge and skill set of a specific task. Candidates receive recognised industry certification in the form of either awareness, training, or competence. Many of the certificates received from attending these courses require the candidate to take refresher courses.

The apprenticeship training is designed to have training courses delivered over 18 months, working towards completing a qualification. This route offers both practical and theory training. The method of teaching for the apprenticeship model is in modular format, with each module including two sections; theory training completed through the DSA online portal that is pre-loaded with training videos, operator manuals and guidance documents. This allows candidates to work through courses in their own time accessed through smart tablets, smartphones, and computers. Once this has been completed candidates are invited to our training facilities to attend practical training sessions. Each module will be completed with a set of questions, to ensure the learner has gained the knowledge of the task module.


Qualifications are recognised as a national occupational standard achievement, through underpinning knowledge and practical assessments. The qualification provides evidence to employers and clients that a standard has been achieved and work will be carried out to a high and safe standard.

We understand that there is not a ‘one size fits all’ approach to achieving a qualification which is why we offer three routes: apprenticeship, On-site Assessment (OSAT), Experienced Worker Route (EWPA).


Designed for candidates with little to no experience and is spread across 18months. This route requires the candidate to attend 21 days off-site practical training, continual training onsite with employers, portal online lessons and On-site Assessments carried out by the approved assessor.

On-site Assessment Route:

Designed for operatives to learn on the job. This option can take candidates 6 months – 3 years depending on the operative’s knowledge and skills. An assessor will arrange dates with the operatives to visit site and collect evidence.

Experienced Worker Route:

Designed for operatives with two years plus experience within a drilling and sawing role. This route requires the operative and assessor to complete off-site simulation-based activities, recorded discussion, observations and witness testimonies across 1-2 days depending on equipment assessed.

A key benefit of training is reducing the risks of accidents and improving risk management, training provided ensures that operatives have the skills, knowledge and experience to competently carry out tasks. Other benefits include equipment repairs are greatly reduced, better efficiency, better production and safe working conditions.

The association is proud of its member’s commitment to training, meeting their responsibilities in delivering a high and safe standard of workmanship.